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In May 2007 Christianity Today hosted a written debate, in six installments, between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian theist Douglas Wilson.  The debate is now available in book form.

Let me say up front that I’m not a philosopher or a theologian, but I do try to read and to think as hard as my little pea brain can think.  I’m sure I don’t understand everything that men like Wilson and Hitchens have to say, but I think I understand at least a little about the nature of this debate.

I’d like for you to download the file below, read the debate, and then share your thoughts in the comments.

For now I simply want to point out one thing.  I think it’s important to understand what Wilson is and is not saying.  He is not saying that atheists cannot make a moral choice.  Rather, he is questioning (in his words) “what rational warrant they can give for calling one choice moral and another choice not moral.”  That is a very different matter, and throughout the debate Hitchens seems either unprepared, unable or unwilling to respond to it.

Wilson’s point is that atheism lacks any rational basis for objective truth or objective moral values, since it begins with the presupposition that there are no absolutes.

I highly recommend reading the entire exchange.  You can download it as a single PDF file (recommended) or, if you prefer, read the original 6-part series on the Christianity Today website (clunky, slow, hard to navigate, not recommended, but here it is anyway).

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6